SDM with Montreal Lake CFS

February 16th- 19th, 2016 SFNFCI SDM Consultants Rachel Melymick and Laura Hicks were asked by Montreal Lake Child and Family Services Inc. Executive Director Cindy Clarke to train staff in SDM.

The week was started in prayer by Gerald Ballantyne, Prevention Worker with Montreal Lake CFS.

Montreal Lake CFS staff were introduced to the first three SDM tools: SDM Intake, SDM Safety and the SDM Risk Assessment. The group had concerns around the use of SDM in their community, and there was quite a bit of hesitation in adopting the SDM system at Montreal Lake. They were concerned that SDM would tell them they needed to remove children from the home due to housing conditions and lack of services in the community.  As a group we discussed how the SDM tools do not make decisions and how the use of the tools can be adapted to fit the community. The tools help structure conversations with families, and will help take a worker to a recommended decision; however, it is just that a ‘recommended’ decision, the case worker along with their supervisor ALWAYS makes the final decision of how to proceed with a family.

The SDM tools have broken down the different decision points during the life of a case. Each SDM tool helps guide a worker to a different decision. For example, the SDM intake assessment focuses on two different decision points: Is this a child protection concern of abuse or neglect and if so, how quickly should a workers response be. The recommended decision is based on the questions asked by the case worker and the subsequent information provided by the family. SDM tools are simply a Microsoft Word documents that can be filled out by hand, or completed in Microsoft Word on a computer. By the end of the four days the group seemed to be more comfortable with the format and structure of the different SDM tools and there was excitement to give it a try!

The following testimonials to the Institute are in regards to what most benefited participants from this training:

 “It will assist me when I am On-Call. It will assist other On-Call workers. This was a good learning experience.”

-Roland Nipshank (On-Call Worker)

“This was very beneficial for me as to the steps to take as an On-Call Worker and a Prevention Worker. Definitions are extremely helpful. Thank-you”

-Steven Stamp (Prevention Worker)

“(SDM) will benefit our agency to focus various ways of dealing with cases using the tools. (As well) to continue working as a team to improve services to children and families we work with.”

-Sheila Clarke (Case Management Supervisor)

The SDM Consultants would like to thank Montreal Lake CFS staff for the week shared together.

For further information on SDM training or questions on the SDM tools. Please contact either Rachel Melymick or Laura Hicks, both SDM consultants with SFNFCI.

Rachel can be contacted at 306-373-2874 ext. 228, or Rachel@sfnfci.ca

Laura can be contacted at 306-373-2874 ext. 224, or Laura@sfnfci.ca

Back row r-l: Velmer Ermine, Martha McNab, Valerie Simonot, Wanda Nipshank, Solomon Sanderson, Rachel Melymick, Stephen Stamp

Middle row r-l: Sheila Clarke, Laura Hicks, Tina McCullom, Virginia Bird, Sonya Bird

Front: Gerald Ballantyne, Roland Nipshank

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